Economy of Dublin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The south facade of the Custom House by night

Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland, and is the country's economic hub. As well as being the location of the national parliament and most of the civil service, Dublin is also the focal point of media and culture in the country. Ireland's transportation network radiates from the city and Dublin Port is responsible for a large proportion of Ireland's import and export trade.

Dublin is home to a number of multinational corporations, including in "hi tech" sectors such as information technology, digital media, financial services and the pharmaceutical industry. Dublin is also the location of the headquarters of several large Irish public companies including Bank of Ireland, CRH plc, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa Group and Paddy Power. Many large Irish public sector employers are based in Dublin including large utility companies such as ESB Group, educational institutions such as Dublin Institute of Technology, Trinity College, Dublin and University College Dublin, most of Ireland's higher courts, RTÉ (Irelands national public service broadcaster), and several teaching hospitals. Other notable sources of employment include tourism and retail.


Dublin was at the centre of Ireland's rapid economic growth from 1995 to 2007 when both the standards and the cost of living in the city rose dramatically. In 2007 Dublin ranked 1st in Ireland by Disposable Income per person, at 109% of the State average. The three counties surrounding Dublin also ranked in the top 5. In 2008, it was the city with the 2nd highest wages in the world, but dropped to 10th place in 2009.[1][2]

Dublin was the world's 16th most expensive city during 2006, but dropped to 34th place by 2013.[3] As of 2011, Mercer's 2011 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey listed Dublin as the 13th most expensive city in the European Union (down from 10th in 2010), and the 58th most expensive place to live in the world (down from 42nd in 2010).[4] The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2015 ranked the city as the 49th most expensive city out of the 207 cities surveyed.[5]


According to 2014 CSO figures, County Dublin contributes €87 billion to national GDP with a very high GDP per capita of €68,208 and the Greater Dublin area contributing €103 billion and a GDP per capita of €56,971.[6]

According to Eurostat 2012 figures, the GDP of Greater Dublin(which includes Counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow) was €85.7bn representing 47% of Irish GDP and a high GDP per capita of €40,000. County Dublin alone has a GDP of €73 billion and a GDP per capita of €57,200.[7]

Dublin GDP per capita is very high and similar to these European cities; Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Hamburg.


Dublin is capital of Ireland. Most of the Irish Civil service is located in the Dublin 2 postal district directly to the south of the River Liffey. There have been proposals to move civil service departments to other centres, but this has not materialised to a significant degree.

County Dublin is divided into four council areas: Dublin City Council, Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown, South Dublin and Fingal.


Aer Arann headquarters

Canals and ports[edit]

Dublin is the fulcrum of the Irish transport system.[citation needed] Ireland's two longest canals, the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, meet in Dublin Bay. The Irish railway system radiates from Dublin run by Irish Rail. Similarly, the Irish road system was constructed spreading outwards from Dublin. Dublin Port is Ireland's largest port facility, and has the deepest port on Ireland's East coast. The port of Dún Laoghaire is also located within the county.

Dublin Airport[edit]

Dublin Airport is the biggest and busiest in Ireland, with two terminals, handling almost 28 million passengers annually.[8] The Irish airlines Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, CityJet and Ryanair all have their own head office in Dublin.[9]


Heuston and Connolly stations are the two main railway stations in Dublin. Operated by Iarnród Éireann, the Dublin Suburban Rail network consists of five railway lines serving the Greater Dublin Area and commuter towns such as Drogheda and Dundalk in County Louth. One of these lines is the electrified Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) line, which runs primarily along the coast from Malahide and Howth southwards as far as Greystones.[10] Commuter rail operates on the other four lines using Irish Rail diesel multiple units. In 2013, passengers for DART and Dublin Suburban lines were 16 million and 11.7 million, respectively (around 75% of all Irish Rail passengers).[11]

The Luas is an electrified light rail system which has been operating since 2004 and carries over 30 million passengers annually.[12] The network consists of two tram lines; the Red Line links the Docklands and city centre with the south-western suburbs, while the Green Line connects the city centre with suburbs to the south of the city.[13] Construction of a 6 km extension to the Green Line, bringing it to the north of the city, commenced in June 2013.[14]

Economic sectors[edit]


Dublin is the centre of both media and communications in Ireland, with a number of national newspapers, radio stations, television stations and telephone companies based there. RTÉ is Ireland's national state broadcaster, and is based in Donnybrook. TV3 Media, UTV Ireland, Setanta Sports, MTV Ireland and Sky News are also based in the city. The headquarters of An Post and telecommunications companies such as Eircom, as well as mobile operators Meteor, Vodafone and 3 are all located in the Dublin area. Dublin is also the headquarters of important national newspapers such as The Irish Times, Irish Independent and The Herald.

Food and drink[edit]

Dublin occupies a key location on the Irish transport system, including the main export port.[citation needed] Ireland's most widely known alcoholic drink, Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery since 1759. The Guinness firm had established for providing the best pay and conditions in the Dublin area for many generations, when economic conditions were adverse.[citation needed] Dublin also profited from the role of the beef industry, as the main export port for beef bound to Britain. Dublin did not feature prominently in the development of Irish dairy-farming, which was concentrated in Munster and south Leinster.


There are 18,500 people working in 180 companies in the Irish engineering sector which equates to €4.2 billion of exports. Companies in this sector include: Liebherr, Sulzer, Element Six and Thermoking. [15]


With the emergence of the Irish state, Dublin started to develop a lot of light industry.[citation needed] This contrasted with Cork a which concentrated on heavy industry until the 1960s. Dublin gained from this, as these sectors generated high valued added, and higher employment rates. Several pharmaceutical companies have headquarters or manufacturing operations in Dublin including Elan (company), Amgen, Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.[citation needed]

Medical technology[edit]

The Medical Technology sector has 25,000 people in over a 100 companies which is responsible for €9.4 billion in exports. This makes Ireland the 2nd largest exporter of MedTech products in Europe.[16]

Information and communications technology[edit]

One George's Quay Plaza at night (middle)

In the 1990s, Ireland became a successful player in new high-technology sectors based on modern information and communications technologies.[original research?] It is becoming the multilingual internet capital of Europe,[17] and is regarded[by whom?] as the Silicon Valley of Europe, attracting thousands of people from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK.[citation needed] A number of IT companies have located in the city, particularly in the south inner area of Dublin 2, and the adjacent counties, among them Amazon, Ebay, Dell, Facebook, Zynga, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Indeed, Twitter, Google, EMC, Microsoft, Oracle, Fleetmatics, PayPal, SAP, Symantec, and Yahoo!. A number of these organisations have premises in the Silicon Docks area of the city.[citation needed] Also located in Dublin is the Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) which provides high-speed IP traffic exchange facilities for Irish and international IP service and content providers.[citation needed]

Hewlett-Packard and Intel have manufacturing plants in Leixlip, 15 km (9 mi) to the west of the city centre.

The Dublin area also has one of the densest clusters of data centres in Europe.[citation needed] The area surrounding Ireland’s capital city has as many as 30 large-scale data centre operations, including global operations run by Google, Microsoft and Amazon.[citation needed] Companies involved in the cloud computing sector include Citrix, EMC2, Dropbox, Salesforce and Zendesk.[18]


There are 35,000 people working in the Financial services sector, contributing approximately €2 billion to the state.[citation needed] Many of these jobs are based at the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin.[citation needed]

Ireland is the seventh largest provider of wholesale Financial Services in the EU. With more than 500 International financial institutions, Ireland has a variety of activities ranging from fund administration to aircraft leasing. [19]

Also located in Dublin is the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) and the Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX).


Ireland's largest retail and shopping centres are located in the Dublin area, including Dundrum Town Centre (140,000 square metres, 160 stores) and Blanchardstown Centre (120,000 square metres, 180 stores).[20][21] Within the city centre, the "prime retail streets" include Henry Street and Grafton Street.[22] A 2013 report, for Ibec and Retail Ireland, indicated that Dublin was the "main national hub of retail activity", accounting for 25% of the country's retail entities, and approximately 50% of national employment in the sector.[23]


Several of Ireland's most visited tourist attractions are in the Dublin area, including the Guinness Storehouse (nearly 1.5 million visitors in 2015), Dublin Zoo (1.1m visitors in 2015), the National Gallery of Ireland (in excess of 700,000 visitors), and others.[24][25] As of 2013, the tourism sector was reputedly worth approximately of €1.4 billion to the economy of Dublin.[26][27]

Higher education[edit]

Higher education institutions contributed €10.6 billion to the national economy in 2011.[28] This included nearly €1 billion from international students,[29] where 57% of these international students are based in the Dublin region.[30] As a university city, several of the largest universities and colleges are located in the capital, including the largest (University College Dublin - UCD), and one of the oldest (Trinity College Dublin).[31] A 2014 study indicated that the three universities in Dublin (Dublin City University, Trinity College, and UCD) were among the top institutions for economic impact nationally.[32]

Celtic Tiger[edit]

The economic boom years of the "Celtic Tiger" led to a sharp increase in construction. However, as of 2007,[needs update] unemployment is on the rise as the housing market has begun to see supply outstrip demand.[citation needed][needs update] Some redevelopment has taken place in large projects, such as the Docklands, renewing older industrial areas near the city centre. Dublin City Council seems to[original research?] now have loosened the former limits on "high-rise" structures, the tallest building being Liberty Hall at 59.4 m (195 ft).

In 2005, around 800,000 people were employed in Greater Dublin, of whom around 600,000 were employed in the services sector and 200,000 in the industrial sector.[33] In April 2007 the Irish central bank predicted medium-term growth rates of around 3–5%[34] though by 2012 emigration was a renewed feature of Dublin and Irish life.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Richest Cities in the world". Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ ""Dublin's Role in the Irish and Global Economy, 2012" (Dublin's Role)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Dublin is world's 34th most expensive city". 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Dublin falls in city-cost rankings". Irish Times. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Cost of Living in Ireland". Globe Media Ltd. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "County Incomes and Regional GDP 2014 - CSO - Central Statistics Office". 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Chief Executive's Review". Annual Report 2016, daa plc (PDF) (Report). DAA (Dublin Airport Authority). 2016. p. 28. 
  9. ^ "Aer Arann Contact Information". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Transport in Dublin, Get Around Easily with". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Passenger Journeys by Rail by Type of Journey and Year - StatBank - data and statistics". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Luas - Frequently Asked Questions". 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  13. ^ "Luas - Frequently Asked Questions". 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Luas Cross City". Projects & Investment. Irish Rail. August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Engineering". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  16. ^ "Medical Technology in Ireland". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Google to create 200 jobs in Dublin". RTÉ News. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Cloud Computing & FDI Opportunities with IDA Ireland". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  19. ^ "Financial Services". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Ireland's largest shopping centre has just been sold as part of biggest Nama deal ever". The Journal. 29 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Hammerson pays £1bn for Ireland's largest shopping centre". The Guardian. 8 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Dublin retail market review 2016". Irish Times. 15 February 2017. 
  23. ^ "Strategy for Retail 2014-2016" (PDF). Retail Ireland. 2013. 
  24. ^ "Report - Visitors to Top Free Visitor Attractions 2015" (PDF). Failte Ireland. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  25. ^ "Report - Visitors to Top Fee-Charging Visitor Attractions 2015" (PDF). Failte Ireland. 26 June 2017. 
  26. ^ "Economic Profile of Dublin - Dublin Facts & Figures". Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 26 June 2017. Dublin attracted 3.9 million overseas visitors in 2013, generating €1.4 billion in revenue 
  27. ^ "Tourism Now Worth Over €1bn To Dublin Economy". Business World. 5 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "Irish higher education sector contributed €10.6 billion to the economy". Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "International third-level students worth €900m to economy". Irish Examiner. 28 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "Economic Profile of Dublin". Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "Higher education in Ireland: for economy and society?" (PDF). 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  32. ^ "Irish Higher Education Sector Is a Major Contributor to Economy". 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  33. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Central Bank predicts less growth". RTÉ. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  35. ^ "Chousands Look To Go Abroad For Work 2012". RTÉ. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 

External links[edit]